Yesterday my daughter and I took on a big project. At least once a year, we clean out the collection of junk she has hoarded in her little pink bedroom. It kind of blows my mind that a 9 year old can stash away so many papers, bouncy balls, stickers and shells in just one year. But she is my daughter.
We spent almost 6 hours moving furniture around, vacuuming, dusting, throwing out old math homework (she thought she might use it for reference in the 5th grade. I convinced her otherwise.)
I'd like to say we sorted through all her collections and culled only the finest pieces. But my heart wouldn't let me do it. As she carefully dusted and rearranged each penguin-shaped eraser, glass unicorn, and piece of beach glass, she smiled the smile of the treasure collector, a smile I know well.
I had to let her keep these treasures. I even dug through the storage room to find some special shelves to better display them.
At the end of the day, our throats were scratchy from the dust we had kicked up. We had to get out and go for a walk just to clear our heads. Later, I tucked her in to sleep. She was almost giddy to slip into her bed in its new place in the room. She looked around dreamily at the reading nook we made with pillows in the corner, the painted parasol from Thailand (a gift from her Aunt Amy) that we hung, canopy-like above her head, and the shining collection of treasures mounted above her desk. Nothing of great value to the rest of the world, but precious delights to a fellow magpie.